Do you suffer with regular colds? Sore throats, hoarseness, coughing? What about seasonal allergies or even asthma? What about autoimmune disease like Hashimoto's or Arthritis? All of these issues can be attributed to hidden food sensitivities.
We should all be familiar at this point about food allergies and their effects that they can have on the human body – anaphylaxis – and the constant need for an epi-pen, just in case! What about hidden food sensitivities? What do these do to the human body?
Even though your body may not require emergency care when eating certain foods, your body is still under attack and can cause serious long-term health issues.
Per Dr. Alan Gaby there are a multitude of symptoms and conditions that are linked to hidden food sensitivities. Just to name a FEW of a very long list: Cardiovascular Disease, Dermatological issues (acne, eczema, psoriasis), Ear/Nose/& Throat issues (hearing loss, Hoarseness, Nosebleeds, Sore throat, Vertigo), Gastrointestinal issues (pain, constipation, Crohn’s Disease, diarrhea, Gastritis, Ulcerative Colitis, vomiting), Neurological effects (ataxia, epilepsy, migraines, Multiple Sclerosis, RLS), Conjunctivitis, Colic, Enuresis, Growing pains, Psychological (Anxiety, depression, ADHD, Autism, Panic Attacks, Schizophrenia), Pulmonary (asthma, COPD), Renal, Urological issues (UTI), Candida, edema, fatigue, food cravings, insomnia, obesity, teeth grinding, vaginitis (1).
So that is a VERY long list with some very SERIOUS issues! The biggest issue of all is that food allergies are very difficult to determine since there is such a delayed response. I already discussed my delayed response with “geographic tongue” here. This is something I have dealt with since I was 12 years old and never attributed it to potential food allergies. Other issues that I dealt with growing up included: Abdominal pain after certain meals, chronic sore throats and hoarseness which eventually led to a tonsillectomy, some urinary incontinence (sneezing or even tumbling when I was a cheerleader). I was even told in 4th grade that I was faking stomach aches after lunch time to get out of PE.. which, like any 10 year old, was probably my favorite class.
As an adult I began experiencing chronic UTIs and hypothyroid symptoms including weight gain, hair loss, and fatigue (with no unusual thyroid labs). No matter how few calories or low carb I ate and how much time I put in at the gym, I could not lose a pound... In fact, I was still gaining weight! I hit my wits end and began researching everything that related to thyroid, estrogen and weight gain. This is how I learned about functional medicine and hidden food sensitivities.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that removing hidden food sensitivities and working on healing my leaky gut showed an improvement in my overall health rather quickly. Within a week I was no longer having constipation or diarrhea. At this point, I knew I had made the right choice to embrace functional medicine. Within a few months, my nausea decreased and eventually ceased, my hair stopped falling out, my weight stabilized, and my geographic tongue disappeared. Now several years into the process and my weight has slowly started to decrease without much effort, my hair is growing back, I have great energy most days (note: I don’t take in ANY caffeine, either!) AND BONUS I’ve only been sick ONCE!
Is my diet 100%? No! Have I reached all of my health goals? Not even close! Is it as close as I could possibly get? Absolutely! Sometimes foods sneak in and there is nothing you can do except learn for the next time! Also, I work every single day to improve my health whether it be perfecting my diet (which includes constantly changing and trying new foods to provide more nutrients and to prevent boredom). I also regularly hit the gym and change up my exercise routine to prevent stagnation. Most importantly I document my progress so that I can always remember how far I have come since removing the foods that burdened my system for so many years.
If you think you may be struggling with food sensitivities, sign up for a free 15 minute consultation to discuss how nutrition counseling can benefit you!
1. Gaby, Alan R., MD. Nutritional Medicine. Alan R. Gaby, M.D., 01/2011. VitalBook file.